I have taken a few weeks off from doing too much with our cutie little home. And I am really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things around here.
As we work on our home and it evolves into something that feels like "Murphy", we feel more and more at home. And although there is nothing wrong with decorating a home and calling it done, I have a tendency to change things up. I love decorating for different holidays and seasons - those are some good changes - but I also love moving things in and our and around.
Something I just brought in is this great "liberty bell" bottle.
During the bicentennial everyone and their brother celebrated our awesome country with all kinds of marketing geniuses. I remember eating green olives from a liberty bell jar, lunch boxes and t-shirts were crazy red, white and blue and some coins, like the quarter, were special editions. You could not go anywhere without getting bonked on the head with a flag. It was pretty neat actually. I remember feeling lots of pride to be an American. Our school even had a parade. I jumped in after I had gotten back from a doctor's visit to remove a cast from my then healed broken arm and ended up with the flag with the broken stick. Obviously still a tender moment.
But, anywho - The bicentennial bottle - So cute!
I brought it home from my mom's house.
Baby Jett, Mama Alex, Grammy and Great-Grandma.
That's what I have been up to the last few weeks.
Just two days after celebrating my mom's 70th birthday, she had a massive stroke. Another three days later, she was gone.
Unexpected for sure. Still trying to wrap my head around it. We had a terrific memorial for her a few days ago that brought lots of good people together to celebrate her life.
She lived in the same house for about 60 years - Her dad built the house! It has been added on to twice. For most of her life, she has had a hard time letting go of things.
I inherited all of it. It will take several months to get through it all.
It's kind of an ironic time - I now own enough stuff to fill my house a few times right when we are on a journey to downsize. I took a few hours last week (with the help of my mom's partner, Sher) to get started.
I brought home four boxes of stuff, gave one box to an aunt, donated one box and am keeping one partial box for my kiddos to look through. I pulled out a few things for our home, including this bottle of pennies.
It actually started as four full bottles of coins, mostly pennies. Colin, Liam and I went through each coin, pulled out the old ones and took the rest to Coinstar, where we ended up with about $35 cash.
The ones we saved are wheat pennies. These pennies were made up until 1958. Our oldest is a 1909, which is pretty valuable. My mom was born in 1943 - we have ten 1943 steel pennies, which sounds cool and they are cool, but not worth much. It's actually the 1943 copper pennies that are worth like a million dollars. Really.
We don't have any of those.
We are planning to do more penny hunting and keeping all the wheat pennies in the bottle. My mom saved tons of coins, so I'm sure the opportunity will come up soon. We had a great time searching through these, calling out the dates and googling their history and value.
It will be a great connection to my mom, to always be on the lookout for the wheat pennies.
And with that, I don't feel like I need to save everything my mom kept. There will be a few things coming home with me, but the rest will find a new home with relatives who may have a connection with some things or it will be donated or sold.
This jar full of pennies now feels like "Murphy" to me.